Records Retention Schedule


The Interim Retention Schedule was approved by Council on 29 June 2010. It specifies obligations to destroy information after the retention period has ended.

The Interim Retention Schedule is based on the JISC model retention schedule for the higher education as well as guidance on employee records published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. It is called "Interim" because it only addresses the categories of information where there is an operational or legal need for a centralised policy. It is not comprehensive: it includes the main categories of personal data most likely to raise concern. If you have any questions regarding information that falls outside of the retention schedule, please contact the Data Protection Officer at dp (

Why do we need to define retention periods?

The retention schedule is an essential component of the Goldsmiths Records Management Strategy and enables the college to meet the following objectives:

  • legal obligations relating to the retention are consistently honoured, including the destruction of any personal data in accordance with what the Data Subject has been told (at the time of collection or subsequently);
  • information required to meet internal operational needs, or in response to Freedom of Information Requests, can be more reliably located and retrieved;
  • space (both space for paper records and server space) is not wasted through unnecessary retention;
  • there is clear accountability for retention and destruction of records;
  • appropriate information is retained for the maintenance of historical records and relationships with former students, while respecting the legal rights of Data Subjects.

The principle underpinning these requirements is the recognition that holding recorded information is an active, not a passive process. It involves the exercise of responsibility in the same way as destroying it, acquiring it or creating it. Please also refer to the Data Protection Policy and Information Security Policy for further guidance.

Statutory retention periods are not included in the Interim Schedule; these are the responsibility of specialist areas with staff already trained in the requirements.

Destruction obligations apply equally to paper and electronic records. The Schedule is structured so that destructions become due at the end of an academic year: this allows one destruction exercise to be conducted per year.”

Download our Interim Records Retention Schedule (PDF download).